I was in Holloway Road (that narrow, winding street at the top of the Aro Valley in Wellington) a couple of years ago, attending the 30th Anniversary of the Waimapihi Housing Co-op which I’d been instrumental in initially setting up, and Russell Campbell, who has lived in one of the houses since the beginning, said to me as I raved on about something, Time for the memoir, Paul.
Russell had on his desk a copy of Fredrik Jameson’s The Political Unconscious and in flipping through the book I came across the statement that for some creative people a childhood trauma is constantly restaged in later life, with different people filling the roles and I thought, That’s me. I could then, write the memoir within this framework without it being a this-then-that narrative of little interest except to those involved.
Having done that reasonably quickly I read John Berger’s Here is where we meet and was much taken by the idea of having conversations with people who one has been close to but who have now passed on, the conversations taking place in resonant settings. So I gave it a go and it became another sort of memoir, but one in which the characters can talk back as it were, balancing the voices. Dunedin writer, Paddy Richardson had been mentoring the memoir and we agreed it would be useful to weave these two formats together.
Here comes the ad: Performer a memoir is now available, $35 (includes postage). I will of course begin marketing in the usual way, but it can be ordered directly by writing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with address for service and bank deposit details will then be sent and the deal done.